Incorporating the ‘A’ in STEM Education

art-475-01These days, more emphasis has been given to transition STEM education into STEAM education by incorporating arts into the curriculum

In the age of technology, it is natural to associate the success of innovation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

But research has emphasizing the benefits of arts education and in recent years, there have been a push towards transiting STEM to STEAM.

The ‘A’ stands for arts is about applying creative thinking to STEM projects to ignite students’ imagination and creativity through arts, thus allowing them to think outside the box.

A comprehensive STEAM curriculum helps maximize both left (analytical thinking) and right (imaginative thinking) brain functions.

By allowing students to explore their creative side, this then allow them to cultivate problem solving skills and creative thinking skills which are all important to solve complex problems in science, engineering and math problems.

Aside from that, arts also help cultivate students’ ability to be flexible and adaptable especially in the time of disruptive technology and innovation.

A creative mind also allows one to be more open and accepting towards new things and thus promotes collaboration, communication and innovation.

Maths and science along with arts and humanities should go hand in hand.

Arts and humanities subjects need to be incorporated into STEM education to ensure society’s moral value not lag behind technological advancement, which could result in negative consequences.

The arts and humanities aspect through its underlying moral values could guide students to think more broadly about the relationship between technology and society.

For instance, new innovations and technology should not only focus on the science aspect, but should incorporate arts and humanities values as well.

Humanities also teaches cognitive thinking and communication skills, improving one’s ability to process facts and establish well-informed opinions.

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